The Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center is located right on the San Antonio Riverwalk. So, when your CPE session has a break and you step outside, you're right by the water. This isn't your typical stuffy convention center.
Conference attendees get breakfast and lunch served to them and I thought the food was quite good. It's not your typical bagel and cereal continental breakfast…it's an actual hot meal with fruit and whatever else you would typically want. The lunches are on the lighter side with a salad and sandwich or wrap.
The exhibit hall was well attended by the typical names that you could think of in the CPE business and there were a lot of accounting product-related exhibits as well. On Monday, NASBA hosted a happy hour when the exhibit hall was first opened to attendees. I had an opportunity to meet a lot of people around the industry.
The selection of CPE courses was broad and I was able to pick some that are relevant to my career, which is somewhat hard to do since I really don't work in accounting anymore.
My two favorite sessions were the Federal Tax Update and the class on the major differences between IFRS and GAAP. I liked the Federal Tax Update class because the instructor was engaging and walked around the room and interacted with the class. He didn't stand a lectern and go through power point slides. He didn't even use a power point presentation. The class was given a binder with the outline of his lecture and he walked us through today's current events and how they affect taxpayers.
The class on IFRS vs GAAP was educational and head-spinning all at once. The instructor has consulted businesses on IFRS in over 30 countries and she definitely seemed to be the right person for the course. IFRS is principles-based and GAAP is rules-based. The US has a big learning curve ahead of it if IFRS is adopted.
I am taking a CPE class on IFRS implementation next.